Monday, December 27, 2010

Nantou Racing

There is a 75 km race coming up on January 22 in Nantou. Brrr.It starts in Puli and takes a long way back to Sun Moon Lake. There is an elite category and age group categories as well. The info is here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

January 2011 DH Race

There seems to be a DH race coming up on Saturday, January 8. I don't know any more than this but when I find out, I'll post the details.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pingdong Race

There is a Christmas day race down in Pingdong. It is 113 km long and has a hill climb finish. I have heard good things about this race. I might check it out, as it would likely have nicer weather than the race the week before in Yilan. Here is the link with more info (in Chinese, as usual).

Yilan RR

There is a race coming up on 12/19 in Yilan. Apparently the road will be fixed by then (after it was destroyed by a typhoon-caused landslide). Here is a link to the info about it. The sign up deadline is November 30. It is about 77 km. I'm guessing that the weather will be pretty awful for this one-cold and rainy. Of course it will have been a while since there was any race, so it might be good to break up the routine.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Racing is Over (for the season)

There is only one race left this year (which I forgot to post about-sorry). The next big race will be in the spring in Hualien. I will try to get out and ride some mtb trails that I have not done before and post pictures and maps. If you have any suggestions or tips, let me know and I will try to get out there and ride them. Thanks!

Highway 3

This is a good out and back route. Here is the map. You make it about as hard as you want because there are a lot of smaller hills (3-5 mins). Once you get out past Freeway 72, there is very little traffic. There are some places to stop along the way for refreshments, but not a lot so stock up before you need to.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Digging Time

This Sunday there is a digging party in Taichung. Lots of people are going to come out and help develop Dadu 2. If you want to help out, drop me an email (details at the bottom of the page) and I will send you directions.


Again, this video has nothing to do with riding in Taiwan, but man! This footage is from Redbull Rampage in Utah. Usually videos take away from the scale of things, but these two are taken with helmet cams and you get a little of the sense of scale of what these guys are doing.

Watch them in full screen for full amazement.

This one is the scarier one...

Via decline magazine

Monday, October 4, 2010

Where To Ride Your Road Bike #2

There is a famous hill climb on route 136. This is a map of the ride.

It starts out as a gentle climb and then rises to about 700m above sea level. You can do it as an out-and-back ride, or do a loop. I like doing the loop because the descent down the back side is one of the best that I have found. Since they put in freeway 6 a couple of years ago, the ride back on highway 14 used a lot less, so it is much nicer.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kaohsiung XC and DH Race

There is a race coming up on October 9 and 10. There are actually two XC and two DH races on the same weekend. The info is posted here (in Chinese, works best with IE).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Random Coolness

This isn't really related to Taiwan, but it would be great to have because drivers would certainly leave me more space on the road.

It would be great if I could figure out how to hook the flame thrower to my bike so it would shoot where I aimed it.

Via Get Outdoors blog.

Where To Ride Your Road Bike #1

There is a nice ride that you should try. This is the link to the Google map.

It is an out-and-back ride that starts in Changhua with a mid-point out in Nantou. In total it is about 60 km and there are a couple of climbs which makes it a little difficult. There are usually not too many cars and there are only about six stoplights total. There are plenty of places to stop for water and food, most importantly, near the top of climbs.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Taiwan Cup Race

There is a race coming up on October 24 in Hualien. Details can be found at this site. There are races between 50 and 210 km.

This race is on a Sunday, meaning that you won't have to miss any days of work. Also, the weather should be pretty good. Most amazing of all is that the race starts are at a reasonable hour!

How Tires and Tubes Are Made

This video shows how bike tires are made. It is surprisingly labor intensive. And based on this video, the tires that I buy are cheap because they omit the quality control step.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Time Trial/Team Time Trial

There is a race coming up on October 3rd in Yunlin. There is an individual time trial as well as a team time trial. More information can be found on this website. If you need help with translation or signing up, my contact info is listed below.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Yang Jin Race (Taipei County)

There is a race coming up on September 11th in Taipei County. It is 56 km long and it ends on a hill. The info, in pdf form, can be found here (Chinese). If you need help signing up, my contact info is at the bottom of the page.

Taidong Race

There is a race coming up on September 5th in Taidong. It is a qualification for the Tour of Taiwan, though I understand that the points are only applicable to Taiwanese citizens. The info is here (Chinese).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

As Seen in Taiwan

Near Bikemosa HQ I stumbled across this Flinstone style wood bike.

I have never seen anyone riding this trike; probably because the wheel needs to be repaired.

No, I don't know why there is a wooden deer beside the trike.

The bike and trike are parked outside of a covered wooden cage which houses many more animals (as can be sort of seen in the background). Someone had arranged some of the animals in the cage in a non family-friendly fashion.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Progress Continues

At the new freeride, eventually including dirt jumps, place to ride in Taichung, Doc has been working on stunts.

At first glance this seems like a normal trail but wait!

On closer examination (impossible at high speeds) it appears to be a jump.

Perhaps a rather large jump.

Better have speed and send it. Just be sure you don't hit the overhanging tree or the tree on the right of the landing. It is difficult for ambulances to get in and the hospital is far away.

These photos don't do it justice. It is about 3 meters across and it steps down about 3 meters as well.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tianmu Race

There is a road race coming up on August 28th. There are two categories: citizen and elite. There is a 200 person max, so sign up soon! More info can be found on this site.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chain Oil

In Taiwan during the summer it is usually hot and humid, punctuated by typhoons and thunderstorms. I have to admit that I am a fair weather rider. Rainy days are rest days. Since I never ride in the rain I thought it made sense to get a dry type chain oil. It means less mess. The problem is that all the dry lube I have used comes off after about 60 km. This means I ride with a dry chain. Even if the chain is drowned in lube, it still doesn't last the length of a ride. This is a problem because a dry chain is under a lot of stress and it will break, which is what ended up happening.


Don't buy dry lube if you are going to be riding longer than 50 km, don't like applying lube every time you ride or ride in a place that has humidity.

Do get multi-condition lube.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Giant Cup DH

Despite the organizers being somewhat confused about start times, the races went off reasonably well. Since I participated in most of the events, I was unable to get many photos. A couple of friends of BikeMosa were entered in various races but were unable to race.

One of our friends did the downhill race and I was able to get some photos of him.

Here The Lens practices for the race.

The organizers decided to try to make the downhill a spectacle and many riders were sent to hospital due to an almost impossible-to-ride wall ride. Luckily, The Lens did not join the wounded at the hospital.

In fact, The Lens was so cool that he had time for a nap between runs.

Here, The Lens is ripping it up in the final on a hardtail.

The most of the other racers had big full suspension bikes. The Lens did an awesome job and finished 6th in the elite category. That means he got on the podium and got prize money! Great race for a guy who was just out for fun.

Monday, July 19, 2010


You should never wear headphones when you ride, especially ones that block out the sound of traffic.

I like to wear headphones but I find that the cord pulls down and irritates me. Of course a lot of things irritate me, but I digress.

To solve this problem, I zip tie a small safety pin to the cord. I can then attach this to my shirt (jersey) and they ear buds stay in my ear without any problem.

I also use a twist tie to tie up the extra cord so that it doesn't whip around in the wind (and irritate me).

Finally, I put my MP3 player in a plastic Ziploc bag so that no sweat can get into it.

For the past few years I have been using Sony headphones, but recently they have been failing after only a few months use. (I assume it is because sweat is getting into them and corroding the wire). I just bought a pair of lower end audio-technica headphones and the sound isn't as good as the Sony ones but I want to see how long they last before getting nicer ones. I assume that the more expensive ones will have better sound quality.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Group Rides (Taichung)

It can be difficult to find people to ride with here. Often group rides are slow or end up stopping for lunch, snacks, tea houses, special attractions, 7-11s and so on. If, however, you are looking for something with a moderate to fast pace, there is a group that might suit your needs.

If you are interested in riding with this group, they meet at the corner of Wenshin Road and Taichung Gang Road (WenXin and TaiZhongGang on the Google map) at the Family Mart. On the map it is the green, white and blue icon.

View Larger Map

They meet at 6 am, Saturday morning in the summer and 7am, Saturday morning in the winter. Lately they have been doing 90km rides but I have been promised that the distances will increase to 140km. As these are group training rides, you should bring your road bike and be ready to ride.

If you want more info, contact Attie at (886) 0922 495 511.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stuff That Is Awesome #1

You may be wondering why I started with a photo of ratty shoes. The reason they are ratty is I used them to death. I used these shoes for years, meaning that they have undergone tens of thousands of kilometers of riding before I finally replaced them. The only reason that I replaced them was that the toe was falling apart.

These shoes are:
-super durable
-very comfortable
-fairly priced
-super stiff
-easy to adjust

I have tried many different kinds of shoes and these are among the best. The newer versions look even nicer. These ones should fit even better because you heat-mold the insoles to the shape of your foot.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In Progress

Once upon a time there was a burgeoning dirt jump scene in Taichung. The riders were happy because they had a great place to jump. It had amazing views and it was out in the open so it was easy to take good photos. Then it was decided that the jump spot was the prefect place for a road. Never mind that there was another, underused, road about 500 meters away. The jumps were destroyed, along with years of hard work. This angered the riders and they vowed to find a new place to ride.

(Cue triumphant music). Thanks to the hard work of one fellow named Doc, a place was found! This place has deep dirt, just waiting to be shaped. Thanks to DoubLe, Doc and some others, the shaping has already started. (I would say who but I was not there to help out). In the end, the riders built and amazing place to ride and jumped happily ever after.

The Englishman has helped out as well.

There is more to be seen but the light was not great but due to blood loss from mosquito bites I left without taking more shots.

If you want to know where this is, or want to help out, leave your contact info and someone will get back to you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What I Have Broken #1

One of the problems with living in Taiwan is that summers are really, really hot. This wouldn't be a problem, if it weren't for the sweat. Some riders ride without gloves which I thought was worth trying. This is the result.

At the time they broke, I had just stood up to go up a little rise in the road but I wasn't pulling too hard. One side broke off but luckily I didn't crash. I broke off the other side about two minutes from home (but this time I tried to do it).

Presumably the salt from the sweat went onto the bars and since one doesn't remove the tape after every ride, the salt built up and oxidized the bars.

Tips? Check your bars often for signs of oxidation. Replace aluminum bars every year or so. Use carbon bars. Wear gloves.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Neng Gao and Chi Lai South Peak

Lots of pixels have been published about the Neng Gao trail in Nantou. You can find articles here in English and here in Chinese. Most people ride from the entrance up to the Tian Chi cabin then bomb back down. I decided to hit the Chi Lai South Peak for a look. It is about 4.5 km of hiking/pushing and it takes a while to get up there.

This is part of what you are facing.

Once you get up there the oxygen is pretty thin. The peak is 3350, or so, meters above sea level. Apparently there is only 70% of the oxygen available there, compared to sea level. This site gives you a calculator to figure it out. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, the view from the peak is amazing. One of the side effects is that you can't get as much oxygen to your brain and you can't make decisions as clearly or ride technical single track as well.

The reward for all your pushing is this descent.

As seen below, the trail is much narrower than the main Neng Gao trail but it is a lot more challenging and fun.

Is it worth it the hour or two of pushing and carrying? Depends on your fitness and skill level. If you are fit enough, and technically skilled enough, it is.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Taiwan Riding Videos

One of the guys we ride with makes some great videos. Here is one with a cool vibe to it.

This one is the most recent one.

Giant Cup Race July 24-25th

There is a race coming up on July 24-25th in Daja, Taichung county. Here is the link to the info. There is a road race and hill climb on the 24th and a DH and XC race on the 25th.